Did It Really Happen?

I admit that I stopped following last night’s game somewhere in the 6th inning (sorry, had to drive home and was following the Democratic convention) and I lost complete track until the final score email arrived in my inbox. I was stunned. I think my reaction has to do with me finally coming to grips with where the season is going (and for that matter, not going).

Judge Loses Control of Braman Trial

The circus surrounding the Norm Braman trial continued today when Judge Jeri Beth Cohen postponed a decision on one of the two remaining issues for at least 5 weeks. The issue in question is whether money can be reallocated for a different purpose without a referendum. The Judge wants to wait for a Florida Supreme Court reconsideration of case concerning reallocation of bond funds.

Frankly, this seems like the only real legal issue left in this case so everything else that happened is irrelevant (hence the term “circus” in this post). The issue of whether the stadium is a good public use of money is not an issue for a court to decide, that’s why we have elected officials. Now, if Braman wanted to challenge the elected official’s authority to make such decisions, that’s a legal challenge. But in this case, debating whether the Marlins will leave town without a stadium or whether they cannot afford to pay more is not an issue for the court to decide.

Anyway, Judge Cohen is scared to make a decision because she doesn’t want her ruling overturned but the end result of her decision is to give the Braman a big victory.

Will an Appeal by Braman Delay the Ballpark?

It looks like Braman’s lawsuit is going down in flames (as expected) but a big concern may be his decision to continue wasting his money by appealing the decision.

We are not happy with the prospect, but we are not concerned. One thing to keep in mind is that Braman did not obtain an injunction (and no court has issued an injunction) against the projects. Absent that, the county, the city, and the Marlins are going ahead full steam. Even if Braman ultimately prevails in some sort of appeal (keep in mind that appeals can’t just be a disagreement with the ruling, there has to be an obvious error), the city/county will have to find a way to pay for the ballpark or else they would have to pay the Marlins for all costs incurred as well as damages.

All-Star Voting Sucks

Since no one shows up to games at Joe Robbie Stadium, Hanley Ramirez lost his status as leading vote-getter among NL shortstops. 72-year old shortstop Miguel Tejada of the Astros is now up by almost 120K votes. Clearly, Astros fans are doing their job because all of the Astros infielders are getting quite a few votes.

Tejada is having a good year (.300 BA, 7 HR, 39 RBI, .335 OBP, .466 SLG, 46 R, 5 SB) but Hanley is having a better year (.299 BA, 14 HR, 31 RBI, .389 OBP, .525 SLG, 53 R, 15 SB). Yes, I realize that Tejada has 8 more RBIs, but he bats 3rd in the lineup while Hanley has spent most of the season at leadoff.

All I can say is keep voting Marlins fans.

The More the Ballpark Seems Certain, the Less it is

We’ve previously discussed the concern that the Ballpark may be facing obstacles at the County level. Now comes word from Bob DuPuy that this is potentially a real problem:

DuPuy said “the coalition at county commission level is tenuous” for the Florida Marlins’ proposed new ballpark.

The City and County did a great job trying to ram the ballpark through as quickly as possible but it’s clear that some politicians are ready to sink this ship. I don’t know if they are sincere in their concerns or merely grandstanding for cheap political tricks but it’s time to pick sides.

Consider me worried.

South Florida Loves Losing

Greg Cote wrote a good commentary in Today’s Miami Herald asking why South Florida fans are not coming to ball games.

South Floridians were able to cheer a division-leading, first-place professional sports team at home Tuesday night. Ordinarily, this would not qualify as news, let alone a revelation, but the recent rarity makes it so.

Considering how bad South Florida teams were this year (except for the Panthers but they still didn’t make the playoffs) it’s legitimate to ask why people aren’t showing up to watch a first place team with an 8-5 record who is playing entertaining baseball. You can make excuses about the payroll but it’s on the field performance that matters and unlike the Dolphins, who won 1 game all year long, and the Heat, who will likely end up with 15 wins, the Marlins are winning more than they are losing. Continue reading “South Florida Loves Losing”

Marlins Beat Nats 10-7; Beat Head Over Day Off Tomorrow

Marlins win with home runs. Once again starting pitching can’t get to the 6th (or out of the 4th, for that matter). If we solve that problem we’ll continue to be the first-place Florida Marlins.

Note to MLB: Having a day off tomorrow is not cool. Why not just start the series tomorrow? And why do the Nationals have a one-game opening day, then another home game a week later followed by another day off before their third home game?

Poetic On Opening Day

Today is the best day of they year. America’s pastime and our obsession begins. Today we’re all undefeated and in first place (except for the Red Sox and A’s, but we won’t get into that). Even though all the analysts have decided how we will do (hint: last in the NL East), today we look ahead and wonder. We’ve seen veteran teams achieve (1997) and underachieve (2005) and we’ve seen young teams fail (1998), struggle (2006), and win it all (2003). So today we celebrate the best day of the year Continue reading “Poetic On Opening Day”

The Marlins Can’t Win Even When They Do

The Sun-Sentinel had an interesting take on last night’s exhibition game against the Yankees:


I’m pretty sure the headline is wrong. Here is what the Miami Herald said:


I wonder who got it right?

We kid of course. Unlike the headline, Juan C. Rodriguez’s article accurately captured the result of the game. The rest of the article though, hmm… Check out this nugget:


Either A-Rod was born in 1985 (rather than 1975) or the Marlins played in the NLDS against the Giants in 1987, before they existed. Maybe they meant yesterday’s starting pitcher, Andrew Miller, who attended the 2003 World Series. I’m sure it’s a common mistake to confuse Alex Rodriguez with Andrew Miller. Happened to me on my Fantasy Team. Maybe A-Rod plays for the Marlins now. We seem to remember covering it this past fall.

I’m sure by the time you read this, they fixed it. Don’t worry, we all make mistakes (thankfully, I’m a hack not a journalist).

A Classy Move for a Classy Player

Jeff Conine - All Star Game MVPIf this report is true, and you must believe that at this point it should be, the Florida Marlins will honor Jeff Conine with an appropriate retirement act:

According to a source, Jeff Conine, one of the most popular players in Florida history, will sign a one-day contract on March 28, and then retire as a member of the Marlins.

The team also plans on honoring Conine during an on-field ceremony before their March 31 season opener against the Mets.

While it doesn’t appear as if the team will retire one of Jeff Conine’s numbers (18 and 19), we hope that changes one day (remember that Mike Lowell also wore 19, making it hard to retire it).

Fans and observers like to criticize team management for not caring about the team, its players, and the fans. But this event, should it happen, suggests that some are quick to judge (and perhaps carry and unfair bias). This is an honorable move that reminds us that there is some good in the game and that there are many good people in it.

Baseball Reality Bites: Broward County Edition

Remember how those clowns in Broward County decided to throw money at the Baltimore Orioles for their stupid spring training site instead of investing those resources in a Marlins ballpark? Well, the Orioles are about to flip Broward off on their way up to Vero Beach.

Two Fort Lauderdale city commissioners suspect the Baltimore Orioles may abandon plans to overhaul Fort Lauderdale Stadium in favor of moving to Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

A source told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Thursday the team has an option agreement with Indian River County to move to Dodgertown, once the Los Angeles Dodgers move to Arizona, expected in 2009 or 2010.

Now, I know $40 Million is not the same as $400 Million, but Broward’s weird decision to spend so much on 30 days of spring training made no sense when you consider that a 30-year 81-day partner was looking for a deal.

Blog Quote of the Week

From the good guys at FishStripes:

Lo Duca was traded to the Marlins in July 2004 and the last evidence in the report of him buying performance enhancing drugs was in August of the same year. Lo Duca signed a three-year deal with the Marlins in January of 2005.

If the report is accurate, the Dodgers juiced him up and sold the Marlins a bill of goods and the only way I can see to right the wrong is to give us Brad Penny back and have the Dodgers pay out Penny’s existing contract. And you wonder why I’m not the commissioner.

In Case You Wondered: The Marlins Proposed the Trade

We’ve all wondered how the trade happens and in this Detroit-loving article by Jason Stark, we discover that after the Tigers rejected the Marlins’ Cabrera for Miller and Maybin offer, the Marlins came back with the 8 player lineup (meaning: included Dontrelle) and Detroit said yes.

Also, the Marlins wanted Mike Rabelo because bench coach Carlos Tosca had managed him before and liked him.

Oh, and one bit of commentary. Trading away your entire minor league system and spending millions on free agents doesn’t make your GM a genius. For every good GM like Dave Dombrowski there is an incompetent GM like Omar Minaya.